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Be'lakor
Stone's Reach

Company: Prime Cuts Music
Release: 2009
Genre: Heavy
Reviewer: Hail and Kill

  • Impressive, though short of jaw dropping



  • Let's can the music review one moment and just stare at the cover. Look at it. Wow. That's the Perseus dude from Greek mythology holding the severed head of Medusa. Dark and creepy, albeit a little embellished for aesthetic purposes. It succeeds in perfectly conveying the mood of this second album from Australia's Be'lakor. Judging by their name, they could fit into any genre, which they almost do throughout the eight sweeping tracks inside this humongous sophomore release of theirs.

    Beginning with the contemplative instrumental at the start of "Venator," the band are quick to eschew the aggressive stuff for loads of mood. Once their peculiar metallic brew commences, expect every conceivable strandóbe it Iron Maiden harmonies and depressive Goth metal temposófrom across the metal spectrum (except blast beats) to be woven into the massive tapestry that forms the soundscape of this album. From power metal keyboards to the energy of Gothenburg death metal plus doom-laden caveman grunts, Be'lakor are this year's heavy metal chimera. Despite their refreshing appeal, however, a few ugly blemishes do tarnish this otherwise impressive oeuvre. Foremost are the vocals, which border on the incoherently useless amidst the din of such progressive whirlpools as "Sun's Delusion" and "Husks." To worsen matters, the sound of this band, while hypnotic, lacks P-O-W-E-R, making the epic guitar duels here fall short of the expected bombast. Moshpit worthy moments are hard to come by on "Stone's Reach," then again, this might not be the band's intention anyway.

    But considering how new these guys are, hearing them pull off an album of such breadth and ambition is rather impressive, though short of jaw dropping. Songs like "From Scythe To Sceptre," "Outlive the Hand," the haunting instrumental "Aspect" that's the overture to the 10 minute closer "Countless Skies" push the boundaries of metal like the most innovative bands from Sweden. For those looking for that priceless underground sensation to rave about, "Stone's Reach" is your first choice.



    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: BE'LAKOR
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Stone's ReachBe'lakor
    2009
    Hail and Kill10/15/2009


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: BE'LAKOR

    No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: BE'LAKOR
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE
    Steve MerryBe'lakorMiguel Blardony10/5/2009


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